Not only can we not reach the speed of light, but we can’t even approach it infinitely. What is holding us back?
The speed of light is one This kind of existence beyond common sense is actually not uncommon, because it represents a kind of limit, that is, the fastest speed in the universe.
Anything with mass cannot reach the speed of light, while an object without mass like photons can only move at the speed of light. As the limit of the speed in the universe, the speed of light has another characteristic beyond understanding, which is constant.
We all know that when measuring the relative motion speed of an object, the relative speed measured is also different due to the different reference frame. For example, if we measure a car with a speed of 30 meters per second at a stationary angle, its relative speed is 30 meters per second, and if we ride in a car that is traveling in the same direction and the speed is also 30 meters per second Measured, the car is stationary relative to us. But this does not apply to the speed of light.
Measured at a stationary angle, the speed of light is 299792458 meters per second, and if we ride on a light-speed spacecraft traveling in the same direction as the beam to measure The speed of light relative to us is still 299,792,458 meters per second. Relative to any reference system, the speed of light is constant. The reason for this measurement result is that our time changes in high-speed movement. slow.
Of course, this is just an example, and in reality, a light-speed spacecraft is impossible. The reason lies in the light-speed spacecraft and riding at the speed of light. We on the spacecraft are of quality. Mass objects will produce an inertial mass when moving, and as the speed of movement increases, the inertial mass will also increase, and the inertial mass is equivalent to gravitational mass. When the speed infinitely approaches the speed of light, the inertial mass will also tend to infinite, and to make the object continue to accelerate, the required energy is also infinite, and there is obviously no infinite energy in the universe, so mass objects are also It is naturally impossible to accelerate to the speed of light. This is determined by the objective laws of the universe and has nothing to do with the level of science and technology.
In theory, any object with mass can’t reach the speed of light. In fact, not only that, we can’t reach the speed of light, or even approach it infinitely. The speed of light.
The reason is that 299792458 meters per second refers to the speed of light in a vacuum, and there is no absolute vacuum in the entire universe. The vacuum environment that we have created is actually just a seemingly vacuum environment, but in fact it is not only not a vacuum, but also filled with a lot of matter.
You might not have thought that in the second when you read this sentence, billions of neutrinos are interspersed from your body. It’s just that you don’t know it. The reason is that neutrinos, which are neutral particles in nature, do not participate in electromagnetic interactions, so even if they pass through our bodies, they won’t have any impact on us. And we cannot perceive their existence. Although neutrinos will not affect our bodies, they will interact with high-speed substances, thereby reducing their speed.
The existence of neutrinos will affect the speed of movement of objects, while the existence of another substance will directly threaten the safety of high-speed moving objects.
An object, as long as it has mass, no matter how small its mass, when it approaches the speed of light, its inertial mass will approach Infinity, and inertial mass and gravitational mass are equivalent. When an object with infinite mass collides with another object, the destructive power it can cause is self-evident.
In the sci-fi work”The Three-Body”, the advanced alien civilization only launches a mass point close to the speed of light, which can destroy a Stellar system, the so-called mass point is a matter of extremely small mass. Although this description comes from science fiction works, it is completely in line with the facts. In the real world, such tiny mass points exist in the universe. The universe is close to a vacuum, but not an absolute vacuum.
There is a large amount of dust in the universe, some of which are not even dust, just an atom that is too small to be visible.
These tiny substances are scattered in the universe in an extremely sparse form, and their existence determines that a spacecraft close to the speed of light is impossible Achieved. We can imagine that a spacecraft close to the speed of light collides with a particle of dust in space during its high-speed flight. What will happen? When a collision occurs at a relative speed close to the speed of light, the spacecraft will be instantly destroyed.
Because of this, let’s not say that we cannot build a spaceship close to the speed of light. Even if we build it, we cannot allow it to fly freely in space. Precisely because the universe is not a complete vacuum, not only can we not reach the speed of light, we cannot even approach it infinitely. Taking a step back, even if we can reach the speed of light, what can we do? The Milky Way alone has a radius of 50,000 light-years. To span half of the Milky Way, even if it travels at the speed of light, it takes 50,000 years. The Milky Way is just one galaxy in the universe, and the universe is composed of trillions of galaxies. The huge space composed of, of course, this refers only to the observable universe.